Langentibus in purgatorio,
 Clavis David qui celos aperis,
 Lex justorum, norma credencium,
 Ad te, pia, suspirant mortui,
 O fons patens, que culpas abluis,
 In tremendo dei judicio,
 Dies illa, dies terribilis,
 Benedicta per tua merita,
Lord have mercy.
To those languishing in Purgatory,
Good Lord Jesus, who opens the heavens
Law of the just, Rule unto the Faithful,
To you, Holy One, the dead are sighing,
O clear fountain that washes away sins,
In the fearful court of God,
That day, that awesome day,
We pray you, blessed in your goodness:
Entered by Hand B in primitive white mensural notation. The text is a widely circulated prayer for the deceased in Purgatory (a strophic trope for the responsory “Libera me”). Its eight stanzas correspond to stanzas 1, 4, 5, 3, 2, 7, 8 and 6 in the version published in Mone 1853, Vol. I pp. 400-402, supplemented by the litany “Kirie eleyson” (on the text, see further the related compositions). All stanzas are copied out in full with careful text-underlay. In stanza 8 the text-underlay of the lower voice stops after the first words as if the work was interrupted – the exemplar may have contained further stanzas.
The setting starts with “Kirie eleyson” in simple two-part polyphony, which probably is to be sung as a refrain between the stanzas. Then follows stanza 1 in a setting for two low voices (two F3-clefs, setting A), while stanza 2 has different music in the same voice-range, but notated in different clefs (C4 and F4, setting B). Hereafter the two settings alternate, setting A for the odd stanzas, B for the even. A performance might involve two alternating groups of singers who then all sang the “Kirie” as a sort of ‘refrain’.
The music of settings A and B is notated in mensural notation, but without any indication of mensuration (the transcription is unmeasured, the numbers at the start of staffs count semibreves). The settings of the stanzas include stock phrases from polyphony according to contrapunctus rules, but are basically modernised simple polyphony with the voices moving note-against-note in contrary or parallel motion, mainly in thirds, and with much use of voice crossing. If one imagines them as settings in a black semi-mensural notation and without some of the embellishments, and articulated with fermatas (here replaced by rests), they would not be different from much of the repertory in the MS Amiens 162 D.
Contemporary or older settings of the text:
Amiens, Bibliothèque Centrale Louis Aragon, ms. 162 D, ff. 10v-13 »Lugentibus in purgatorio« 3v
»Lugentibus in purgatorio« 2v in
Grand-Saint-Bernard, Bibliothèque de l’Hospice, Ms. 7 (2038) ff. 60v-63v »Lugentibus in purgatorio« 2v “Pro fidelibus deffunctis”, and
Tübingen, Universitätsbibliothek, MS Mk 96, ff. 55v-57 »Lugentibus in purgatorio« 2v
Lyon, Bibliothèque de la Ville, ms. 6632 fonds musicales, f. 12 »Lugentibus in purgatorio« 2-3v
PWCH March 2014